I was afraid to do this – “do over”. (See first posts.)
Interesting how one can see matters differently after sufficient time has passed.
All these years since I met Chauncey and his group, I still credit that communication with them for my having coped until retirement (which means early retirement and permanent disability payments). I was after all forced out of my job while I was unsure when I would be ready financially. To be clear; my husband had the most to do with my survival, and the group kept me informed about what was really going on in workplaces. I was so sick I could barely speak or write when I met those people. Now I wont shut up. Ha ha.
I was not treated well at work for the majority of the time I was employed there. 38 years is a long time to be on the shit list. I am grateful to have had a job, but it would have been nice to have my Mom and siblings not tear me down so much, or that Mom would see I needed help and fast! I had mental problems, and required treatment. No blame, though; Mom had her own demons caused by her childhood. Yes, it would have been nice if my Mom and Aunt had believed me when I told them Dad was a peeping Tom. No blame. We all do our best with what we’ve got. I’m not condoning my parent’s misdeeds, because they had good intentions, however skewed their thinking was. I am not blaming myself, as I was doing the best I could. I worked very hard.
I have previously explained that between being a single Mom, and being mentally unstable, it was impossible for me to successfully grow out of my immaturity and be a socially functioning human being within a group setting. I am so far good at a one-on-one interaction. I have Hubby, Son, and a good friend. What more do I need?
I believe that if given the chance I can make more friends of value, and live out my life being proud that I faced up to some pretty inhumane treatment. A psychologist I went to for as long as I knew Chauncey, and friends, said she isn’t sure my staying at that job was such a good idea. I actually found that I would go on to make some of the same mistakes I made while working. Different people, same outcome. It was painful to learn; I do not trust authority, and I especially do not trust anyone who assumes who I am without even bothering to have a decent conversation. I feel “group think” is a dynamic that I cannot get past. Power struggles within a group make me feel paranoid. I make my own evaluations of situations based on my own set of standards, not what a group thinks. I get to know people on a case-by-case basis.
It wasn’t my coworkers’ fault. People do what they do, and my problem – or disability is that I cannot work within cliques, and I will never be able to establish a decent working relationship with others unless it feels safe for me, and that is tenuous. It’s how I handle situations that is amiss. It is how I handle stress that is the problem.
I have the distinction of having a therapist in the 80’s talk with my boss who was harassing me. The therapist is on the front page of Psychology Today last time I looked. He thought I was being discriminated against, but when he sent me to a lawyer it came down to the fact that the company I worked for would drag me through the mud. It would be a fruitless endeavor. My symptoms just got worse and worse.
I am flawed; I don’t speak out when I should. At home I am very confident, as my husband spoils me; but I am losing my cognitive abilities according to brain quizzes I have taken, and the brain freezes I experience. My father had dementia. I am writing this to see if I have still got my logic straight, and if it has improved or declined. Also I am writing to see if I make more sense this time to any travelers to this site. After all I am seeking to help.
The first instance of this decline was when I had an enormous mental breakdown. It was building up to a crescendo for quite a while. I was 25 years old. All I could think about was work. At the movies, out with friends, I was a chronic worrier, and complainer; who at that age could tolerate that from a friend? My family wrote me off as lazy brained, but I really couldn’t articulate my feelings. I had no interests really, just going from class to class, learning about life. My son was suffering because of all that.
I have been diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder, which is supposedly highs and lows with schizophrenia – namely paranoia. I read once that paranoia is caused in part from a lack of information. It is true for me, as I don’t remember having educational conversations with my parents or my siblings during my life. My sex talk with mom was her saying just to stay away from boys.
I have kindled a relationship with my younger sister, and it is somewhat healthy, She keeps her distance. Coming from mentally ill parents, we are doing our best I am sure. We never had a relationship so this is an improvement.
I am about to embark on learning to do actual pieces of art. I will have a crafts class among other social activities available to me when we move to a place where relatives have already migrated. This place is a kind of like a condo set up. It is one hour and a half from our current home, and we will need to come back see our regular doctors and such 2 times per month.
My son is doing great, and it is because of my husband coming into our lives when I was 25, I am convinced; my son having a high IQ doesn’t hurt. Hubby is not his real father (and Dad isn’t doing well, and has worse mental problems than I do, and no Social Security since he works under the table). I may just get to be a grandmother. I am 60 years old. My mother passed on in her 60’s. Was it worth it to delay my gratification for so many years? I’ll probably never know.
What real choice did I have anyway? Live on welfare? Who would have hired me at the rate I was making? We needed the income. I tried other jobs, but there is a big scam going on with employers not paying people what they are worth.
I have a loving family, and son. I will be living in a complex just a short walk to relatives, with a mountain directly behind the building. It’s a nice, clean town with wonderful celebrations every year with fireworks we can see in town and on our mountain. We will be able to travel as much as we want. And we will save, because the payments are so low. Our bills will be paid off too. Sounds like heaven?